13 January 2012

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King opposed the Death Penalty

Courtesy of Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty
“I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included. Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God."
                      -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther KingDr. Martin Luther King fought and ultimately sacrificed his life for the cause of justice and equality in this country. Despite the monumental achievements he helped realize in his short lifetime – most notably, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act – King was the first to recognize that we as a country have a far way to go to realize his dream. His unshakeable commitment to nonviolence compelled him to continually push America closer to this ideal.  Most notably, he could not ignore reports of the atrocities in Vietnam and passionately called for an end to the war. And, domestically, he called for an end to America’s embarrassing institution of capital punishment, plagued by racism and error.

For King and his family, the death penalty was not an abstract issue. King himself survived numerous assassination attempts before finally being gunned down in 1968, while campaigning for striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. Despite these direct confrontations with violence and hatred, King and his family remained firm in their belief that solutions never would be found in further violence and hatred. Coretta Scott King made this point very clear:

"As one whose husband and mother-in-law have both died the victims of murder assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses. An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by legalized murder."

This coming week the CNADP will be joining local civil rights organizations to honor King’s legacy by working to repeal Connecticut’s death penalty. I urge you this Martin Luther King Day, January 16, to take a few hours out of your day to join us in either Hamden or Stamford as we call on Connecticut lawmakers to make sure 2012 is the year to repeal the death penalty (details for these events are below). The 2012 legislative session will start in less than a month. Now and the coming months will be critical to send a clear message to legislators that we cannot wait any longer – the injustice that is Connecticut’s death penalty must end NOW!

Hamden's Mayor JacksonPress Conference and Rally for Repeal in Hamden
10:30 am, Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden (785 Ridge Rd.)

Come out and hear from The Most Reverend Peter A. Rosazza, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Connecticut; Rabbi Herbert Brockman, Congregation Mishkan Israel; State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield; Professor Khalilah Brown-Dean, Family Member of a Murder Victim; and Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson (pictured). This event is co-sponsored with the Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
MLK March and Rally in Stamford to End the Death Penalty

Meet at Bethel AME church in Stamford (150 Fairfield Ave.) at 10 am
March begins at Bethel AME at 10:45 am and ends at Yerwood center (90 Fairfield Ave.)
Talks on several topics, including the death penalty, will begin at 12 pm

Partnering with the CNADP on this event will be the Stamford NAACP, Stamford-Norwalk Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, and SEIU 32BJ.

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